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New York horseman Joseph Beszczynski dies

December 10, 2019

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Joseph “Joe” Beszczynski Jr. of Darien Center, N.Y., died Friday, Nov. 29, after a long illness. He was 89.

Mr. Beszczynski was born in Buffalo, N.Y., to the late Joseph and Anna (Krawczyk) Beszczynski Sr.

Although he worked in construction, he eventually got involved in harness racing and ended up training and driving horses for more than 30 years. He competed at Batavia Downs and Vernon Downs for most of the year but would travel to Aurora Downs in the winter on the advice of his good friend Bob Altizer.

Mr. Beszczynski was first licensed to drive in 1962 and campaigned a stable of horses until 1993. During that time he amassed 154 wins and earned $316,747 in purses. His best year came in 1983 when he won 17 races. He raced horses of both gaits but one of this top horses was a trotter named St Joesph, who was a 12-time winner during his career and was bred and owned by Mr. Beszczynski’s wife, Helen.

When Mr. Beszczynski retired from racing he worked at Skyline Campground which was near his home and also spent his time enjoying stock car racing.

Mr. Beszczynski is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Helen (Rustowicz); children, Joe (Kate) III and Linda (David) Shoe; grandson, Joe (Janet) IV; great grandchildren, James, Abigail, and Destiny; siblings, Adele (the late Dan) Tybor, Gene (Edwina), and Dan (the late Cecilia); and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Timothy; and his brothers, Ray and Cy.

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